Werner and Paul Adrien Maurice on a Steamer

Is this the interaction picture?
Is this the interaction picture?

W. Heisenberg and P.A.M. Dirac, two of the founders quantum mechanics, were on a steamer boat from America to Japan. Heisenberg, a social butterfly, would participate of all the social activities, while Dirac, always very shy, would just sit quietly and watch.

“Heisenberg, why do you dance?” Dirac honestly inquires. “Well, when there are nice girls it is a pleasure to dance.” Heisenberg responds. Dirac turns silent for a few minutes, involved in deep thought. He finally questions, “Heisenberg, how do you know beforehand that the girls are nice?”

According to Heisenberg, this is a true story.

Lord, grant me chastity and continence… but not yet.
-St. Augustine

Nobel Prize vs. NBA

Heard on the streets of Cambridge.

In 2004, Richard Axel won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the “discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system”.

Richard Axel, Nobel Laurate Richard Axel, Nobel Laurate

As a teenager in NYC, he attended Stuyvesant High School, one of the most competitive public schools in the nation, an institution that focuses on math and science excellence. His height made him a key player of his high school’s basketball team.

Axel recalls his most memorable experience as part of the team; it was when he faced on the court Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, the other team’s center. Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor would later change his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the highest scoring player in NBA history.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the only man to face a Nobel Laureates and Bruce Lee Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the only man to face a Nobel Laureates and Bruce Lee

Axel has the ball, and tries to pass Alcindor’s defense on the left. Alcindor stops him. Axel goes to the right, Alcindor stops him again. Face to face, Abdul-Jabbar says to Axel:

“So, which way are you going to go now, Einstein?”

After intimidating the Nobel Laureate, Kareem proceeded to score about 50 points in that game.

Nobel Prize vs. NBA? NBA wins.

“Any sufficiantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from a yo-yo.” -Enoch Root

Wetting and Spreading

Alright, I found it, the best title ever on a published paper. And it was published in Review of Modern Physics, a journal with an impact factor of 38, not any random journal.

Wetting and spreading

Daniel Bonn, Jens Eggers, Joseph Indekeu, Jacques Meunier and Etienne Rolley

Wetting phenomena are ubiquitous in nature and technology. A solid substrate exposed to the environment is almost invariably covered by a layer of fluid material. In this review, the surface forces that lead to wetting are considered, and the equilibrium surface coverage of a substrate in contact with a drop of liquid. Depending on the nature of the surface forces involved, different scenarios for wetting phase transitions are possible; recent progress allows us to relate the critical exponents directly to the nature of the surface forces which lead to the different wetting scenarios. Thermal fluctuation effects, which can be greatly enhanced for wetting of geometrically or chemically structured substrates, and are much stronger in colloidal suspensions, modify the adsorption singularities. Macroscopic descriptions and microscopic theories have been developed to understand and predict wetting behavior relevant to microfluidics and nanofluidics applications. Then the dynamics of wetting is examined. A drop, placed on a substrate which it wets, spreads out to form a film. Conversely, a nonwetted substrate previously covered by a film dewets upon an appropriate change of system parameters. The hydrodynamics of both wetting and dewetting is influenced by the presence of the three-phase contact line separating “wet” regions from those that are either dry or covered by a microscopic film only. Recent theoretical, experimental, and numerical progress in the description of moving contact line dynamics are reviewed, and its relation to the thermodynamics of wetting is explored. In addition, recent progress on rough surfaces is surveyed. The anchoring of contact lines and contact angle hysteresis are explored resulting from surface inhomogeneities. Further, new ways to mold wetting characteristics according to technological constraints are discussed, for example, the use of patterned surfaces, surfactants, or complex fluids.

Most of us live hoping we will get a paper published with a title this cool.

Baby’s first physics book

Here are Paul Dirac and Enrico Fermi. They can do lots of things!
Here are Paul Dirac and Enrico Fermi. They can do lots of things!

How can I jump start my toddler’s career as a theoretical physicist?, I get asked often. I knew only one way how to answer, a way following the Talmudic tradition, answering with another question: Why?.

But, finally, the resource everyone has been looking for is available for sale, online.

Baby’s first physics book – Pat Schrodinger’s Kitty

This is the perfect gift for the nerdy babies in your life. With seven colorfully illustrated activities that will delight any infant who is interested in exploring theoretical physics.

But as Deepak Chopra taught us…

The Quantum word has been abused by all sorts of new age movements.

Quantum Healing. Quantum Psychology. Quantum Love.

Nobody explains this phenomenon better than Professor Farnsworth from Futurama.


But as Deepak Chopra taught us, quantum physics means that anything can happen at anytime and for no reason. Also, eat plenty of oatmeal, and animals never had a war! Who is the real animal?
-Prof. Hubert J. Farnsworth